Commissioner-sponsored bill to protect wildfire survivors signed by Governor
News: 2018 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that a bill he sponsored to protect California wildfire survivors has been signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown. Assembly Bill 1797, authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), strengthens consumer protections and aims to address critical issues facing wildfire survivors.
"This bill is an important step in the right direction, but it's disappointing that some insurers got the original version of the bill amended so that it no longer requires insurers to provide an annual replacement cost estimate," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "It is critical that homeowners have enough information annually to make informed insurance coverage decisions to give them the peace of mind that insurance is meant to provide. I thank the Governor for signing this bill and Assemblymember Levine for championing it in the Legislature to help homeowners avoid being underinsured in the future."
AB 1797 (Levine) is aimed at making sure that homeowners are given an updated replacement cost estimate for their home. Current regulations require a complete and comprehensive estimate of the cost to replace a home when a replacement estimate is provided by the insurer, but state law does not mandate that insurers produce or regularly update a replacement cost calculation. AB 1797 would require insurers to either provide a policyholder with a full replacement cost estimate every other year or apply an inflation factor to the dwelling limit at each renewal and clearly offer the consumer the option to obtain a full replacement cost estimate.
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.